Valley of Fire State Park

This area was quiet. The rumbling from the cars and the mumbling from the tourists evaporated into the space above the 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops. We were almost able to enjoy it alone. As we parted from the Las Vegas airport, I wasn't too sure what to expect of Nevada and Utah. Having lived in Alaska for two years now I was sure no other place could fill my heart the way Alaska's vastness does. I found that to be true, but that's not to say that Valley of Fire State Park didn't find another crevice in my heart to burrow in. The desert is another world; another beauty. It's the first time we've explored an area like this. I now understand the love people have for this region. And it really only had me thinking about the future to come.

If I'm being honest, I didn't really know much about Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Monuments before their rise in the media and I can guarantee you many others would say the same. But that doesn't change the important role that these places play. My love for the outdoors and exploring hidden treasures started when I was very young, but there's a lot of places I still haven't seen in this world. While these two places haven't had a chance to make an impression on my heart yet, I know they've made their impression on others. I know they hold a special place in the lives of many; Native communities and non-native communities. For me, I find worry in this situation because I know this is only the beginning. The beginning of more land disappearing into the hands of people who aren't able to maintain it. The beginning of forgetting what these lands once contained; the beauty the once held. I've ventured into enough of the remote lands of Alaska to know how grand and valuable these places are. My heart dreads the day these communities have to face that journey again.

I hope this will only encourage you get out and view these beautiful parks/monuments that our country currently holds. I know it's not always easy to contribute funds to campaigns we care about, but you can take steps such as volunteering and speaking out to your representatives to make a difference.

Here are some views to encourage you even more. Valley of Fire State Park...